Monday 1st of March 2021

your thoughts will be sanitized at a US pelosi re-education camp...

thought police

As rioters were gathering around the US Capitol last Wednesday, a familiar question began to echo around the offices of the large social networks: what should they do about Donald Trump and his provocative posts?

The answer has been emphatic: ban him.

 

First he was suspended from Twitter, then from Facebook. Snapchat, Spotify, Twitch, Shopify, and Stripe have all followed suit, while Reddit, TikTok, YouTube and even Pinterest announced new restrictions on posting in support of the president or his actions. 

Parler, a social media platform that sells itself on a lack of moderation, was removed from app stores and refused service by Amazon.

The action has sparked a huge debate about free speech and whether big technology companies – or, to be more precise, their billionaire chief executives – are fit to act as judge and jury in high-profile cases.

So what are the arguments on both sides – and who is making them?

FOR

For many, such social media bans were the right thing to do – if too late. After all, the incitement has already occurred and the Capitol has already been stormed.

“While I’m pleased to see social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube take long-belated steps to address the president’s sustained misuse of their platforms to sow discord and violence, these isolated actions are both too late and not nearly enough,” said Mark Warner, a Democratic senator from Virginia. “Disinformation and extremism researchers have for years pointed to broader network-based exploitation of these platforms.”


AGAINST

Predictably, opposition to Trump’s ban came from his own family. “Free speech is dead and controlled by leftist overlords,” tweeted his son Donald Jr. “The ayatollah and numerous other dictatorial regimes can have Twitter accounts with no issue despite threatening genocide to entire countries and killing homosexuals etc… but The President of the United States should be permanently suspended. Mao would be proud.”

But the ban, and the precedent that it could set, has worried some analysts and media experts.

“Banning a sitting president from social media platforms is, whichever way you look at it, an assault on free speech,” the Sunday Times wrote in an editorial. “The fact that the ban was called for by, among others, Michelle Obama, who said on Thursday that the Silicon Valley platforms should stop enabling him because of his ‘monstrous behaviour’, will add to the suspicion that the ban was politically motivated.”

On Monday, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel – hardly known for her affection for the US president – made it clear that she thought it was “problematic” that Trump had been blocked. Her spokesperson, Steffen Seibert, called freedom of speech “a fundamental right of elementary significance”.

 

Read more vacillations at:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/11/opinion-divided-over-trump-being-banned-from-social-media

dorsey makes a twit of himself...

Project Veritas released a video recording Thursday of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey suggesting the company has plans to take further action beyond the removal of President Donald Trump’s Twitter account.

In the video, Dorsey can be heard telling his staff that the ban is going to be much bigger than just Trump’s account.

“We know we are focused on one account right now, but this is going to be much bigger than just one account, and it’s going to go on for much longer than just this day, this week, and the next few weeks and go on beyond the inauguration,” said Dorsey.

He continued, “So, the focus is certainly on this account and how it ties to real-world violence. But also, we need to think much longer term around how these dynamics play out over time. I don’t believe this is going away anytime soon.”

 

 

Trump’s Twitter account was permanently suspended following the violet riot at the U.S. Capitol last week due to “the risk of further incitement of violence.”

More than 70,000 accounts identified as spreading QAnon conspiracy theories, including attorney Sidney Powell and Former United States National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s accounts, were also shut down.

 

Read more:

https://saraacarter.com/leaked-video-reveals-twitter-ceo-has-a-much-bigger-plan-than-trump-ban/

As much as one does not like Trump or one thinks he is an idiot, the censure of his rants is as much a censure on truth as on lies. Yes we know historians will rub Dxxxxx Txxxx out of US history books and mention the Russian connection investigated by Mueller letting a doubt hanging over its finding. Pelosi has been one of the most vicious on this affair.

 

The truth of the matter is no-one knows, but documents have been released:

Senator Lindsey Graham has released a number of documents related to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s probe into the Trump-Russia investigation on Friday, Fox News is reporting.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller conducted the original probe, finding no evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016.

 

 

“…I have decided to release all transcripts of depositions involving the committee’s oversight of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. We have released as much material as possible, but some classified material has still been withheld,” Graham said in a statement Friday.

Read more:

https://saraacarter.com/breaking-graham-releases-russia-probe-docs/

 

See also: 

loosing our footing...

 

true lies, cheap freedom...

 

MSM calls for “new definition of free speech”

 

By Kit Knightly

 

Part of the main duty of OffGuardian is to troll through the masses of media output and try and pick up patterns. Sometimes the patterns are subtle, a gentle urging behind the paragraphs. Sometimes they’re more like a sledgehammer to the face.

This has been face-hammer week. In fact, it’s been a face-hammer year.

From “flatten the curve” to “the new normal” to “the great reset”, it’s not been hard to spot the messaging going on since the start of the “pandemic”. And that distinct lack of disguise has carried over into other topics, too.

We pointed out, a few days ago, the sudden over-use of the phrase“domestic terrorism” preparing us for what is, almost certainly, going to be a truly horrendous piece of new legislation once Biden is in office.

Well, the buzz-phrase doing the rounds in the wake of Donald Trump being banned from the internet is “the new definition of free speech”…and variations on that theme.

Firstly, and papers on both sides of the Atlantic want to be very clear about this, Donald Trump being banned simultaneously from every major social network is not in any way inhibiting his free speech

Indeed none of the tens of thousands of people banned from twitter et al. have had their free speech infringed either. Neither have any of the proprietors – or users – of the Parler app which the tech giants bullied out of existence.

Free Speech is totally intact no matter how many people are banned or deplatformed, the media all agree on that (even the allegedly pro-free speech think tanks). 

They also agree that maybe…it shouldn’t be. Maybe “free speech” is too dangerous in our modern era, and needs a “new definition”.

That’s what Ian Dunt writing in Politics.co.uk thinks, anyway, arguing it’s time to have a “grown-up debate” about free speech.

The Financial Times agrees, asking about the “limits of free-speech in the internet era”.

Thomas Edsall, in the New York Times, wonders aloud if Trump’s “lies” have made free speech a “threat to democracy”.

The Conversation, a UK-based journal often at the cutting edge of the truly terrifying ideas, has three different articles about redefining or limiting free speech, all published within 4 days of each other.

There’s Free speech is not guaranteed if it harms others, a drab piece of dishonest apologia which argues Trump wasn’t silenced, because he could make a speech which the media would cover…without also mentioning that the media has, en masse, literally refused to broadcast several of Trump’s speeches in the last couple of months.

The conclusion could have been written by an algorithm analysing The Guardian’s twitter feed:

the suggestion Trump has been censored is simply wrong. It misleads the public into believing all “free speech” claims have equal merit. They do not. We must work to ensure harmful speech is regulated in order to ensure broad participation in the public discourse that is essential to our lives — and to our democracy. 

Then there’s Free speech in America: is the US approach fit for purpose in the age of social media?, a virtual carbon copy of the first, which states:

The attack on the Capitol exposed, in stark terms, the dangers of disinformation in the digital age. It provides an opportunity to reflect on the extent to which certain elements of America’s free speech tradition may no longer be fit for purpose.

And finally, my personal favourite, Why ‘free speech’ needs a new definition in the age of the internet and Trump tweets in which author Peter Ives warns of the “weaponising of free speech” and concludes:

Trump’s angry mob was not just incited by his single speech on Jan. 6, but had been fomenting for a long time online. The faith in reason held by Mill and Kant was premised on the printing press; free speech should be re-examined in the context of the internet and social media.

Ives clearly thinks he’s enlightened and liberal and educated, after all he drops references to Kant AND Mills (that’s right TWO famous philosophers), but he’s really not. He’s just an elitist arguing working class people are too dumb to be allowed to speak, or even hear ideas that might get them all riled-up and distract them from their menial labour.

To season these stale ideas with a sprinkling of fear-porn, NBC News is reporting that the FBI didn’t report their “concerns” over possible violence at the Capitol, because they were worried about free speech. (See, if the FBI hadn’t been protecting people’s free speech, that riot may not have happened!)

And on top of all of that, there’s the emotional manipulation angle, where authors pretend to be sad or exasperated or any of the emotions they used to have.

In the Irish Independent, Emma Kelly says that “free speech” doesn’t include “hate speech” (she’s never exactly clear what part of “go home in peace love” was hate speech though).

In The Hill, Joe Ferullo is almost in tears that the first amendment has been ruined by the right-wing press continuously “shouting fire in a crowded theatre”, citing the famous Oliver Wendell Holmes quote, which so many use to “qualify” the idea of free speech, without realising it hands over power to destroy it completely.

Up until you can show me the hard-and-fast legal definitions of “shout”, “fire”, “crowded” and “theatre”, this open-ended qualification is nothing but a blank canvas, free to be interpreted as loosely – or stringently – as any lawmaker or judiciary feels is necessary.

As an example:

Twitter is certainly bigger and more populated than a theatre, and spreading anti-vaccination/anti-war/pro-Russia/”Covid denial” news [delete as appropriate] is certainly going to cause more panic than one single building being on fire. Isn’t it?

It’s this potential abuse of incredibly loose terminologies which will be used to “redefine” free speech.

“Offensive”, “misinformation”, “hate speech” and others will be repeated. A lot. 

Expressions which have no solid definition under law, and are already being shown to mean nothing to the media talking heads who repeat them ad nauseum.

If “go home in peace and love”, can become “inciting violence”, absolutely everything can be made to mean absolutely anything.

The more they “redefine” words, the further we move into an Orwellian world where all meaning is entirely lost.

And what would our newly defined “free speech” really mean in such a world?

 

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2021/01/16/a-new-definition-of-free-speech/

 

 

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"bing it!"....

The phrase “Google it” has become ingrained in our society, but the tech giant could strip Australians of the pleasure amid souring negotiations over news content usage.

Google has threatened to pull its search engine over the federal government’s media code that would force it to pay for news content.

Google said the government’s proposal is so financially risky that it will have no choice but to leave Australia if it becomes law.

 

Read more:

https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/politics/2021/01/22/google-threats/

 

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Good riddance, Google... tada, "seeyoulater"... But I don't believe that Google will play it out. Too much kudos and cash at stake. Just pay the money OR PAY A NOMINAL AMOUNT OF TAXES... otherwise we'll BING IT! Or go to the Russian search engine...

the nutcases versus the loonies...

From the Spectator — a right wing magazine that does not believe in global warming and other stuff...

 

 

 

How cults crumble


We all believe in some eccentric things: transubstantiation for me, homeopathy for others

 

 

Written by: Mary Wakefield


 

There’s something creepy about the way we call Donald Trump fans a cult, then watch them hungrily, hoping they’ll do something colorful, though not actually threatening — like self-immolate, perhaps. Lockdown is boring and we’ve watched everything on Netflix. So, MSNBC and chill.

But not all MAGA fans are cultish, and not all political cults are on the right. 2020 acted like a cult accelerator, and now there are half-brainwashed people everywhere, on every part of the political spectrum, in your family, among your friends. How can you tell? It’s all in the eyes.

It’s famously hard to define a cult. However obviously nutty a group may seem — aliens, polygamists, lizards — some sociologist will rise like a carp and insist it’s a valid new religious movement, and that Christianity is the real cult. So I’d approach it from a different angle. The way to tell if a pal is brainwashed is to examine not their beliefs, but their face. We all believe some eccentric things. I believe in transubstantiation; others swear by homeopathy. But the truly indoctrinated have the distinctive light of revelation in their eyes. They believe there’s a set of secret truths about the universe that only they and their gang are privy to, and that dark forces are working against them.

For MAGA fanatics, that secret truth is the QAnon conspiracy — the theory that an anonymous whistleblower, ‘Q’, has revealed that Trump is on mission to expose an influential cabal of Satanic pedophiles. For devoted anti-vaxxers, it’s the idea that the coronavirus is a ruse to implant trackable microchips in us all, presided over by poor Bill Gates. For the dafter wing of the anti-West gang, the conspiracy goes back to Bronze Age man, who invented the nuclear family as a way of suppressing women.

Being part of an elect, fighting evil, is intoxicating; but because of this, cult-followers find it almost painful to listen to dissent. And so here’s another tell: the twitch of angry impatience if you try to disagree. I spent 1998 drifting around Texas and Louisiana visiting cults, making notes for a book. I never wrote the book, but I did learn the look, and I’m spotting it everywhere now. I saw it in my favorite café just the other day.

‘How are you? How’s it all been? I asked the owner as she passed a cappuccino across the COVID-secure takeaway table. ‘Yeah, you know these are crazy times,’ she replied. ‘But at least everything makes sense now.’ What did she mean? ‘It was all explained to me over the summer, and it’s just mad how much sense it makes! Capitalism, democracy… I just can’t understand how I ever fell for it. The patriarchy have deceived us all. But change will come!’ She laughed, and there it was: the knowing, elated look of the chosen. ‘I’m not sure communism did many people any favors,’ I said. She gave a tight smile, said ‘Yeah. You need to have your eyes opened’, and turned away. When I looked over the road at the estate opposite, the racing clouds made it appear as if the tower blocks were toppling.

If there’s more cult thinking about, the usual explanation for it is the internet. We live in information bubbles, it’s said, constantly reinforcing our own beliefs, each group member egging the others on to more extreme views. But I’m not sure the internet is the real villain here. In fact, it is often the way out of a cult. Steven Hassan, author of The Cult of Trump, is doing the talk show rounds right now, comparing Trump with Sun Myung Moon and David Koresh. Hassan was himself a Moonie for many years, and only escaped, he says, after Google gave him the means to question Mr Moon’s True Way.

The best cult recruiting tool, I think, is simply the terrible global sense of unease. Thanks to the virus, all our carefully constructed ideas of the future are crumbling. We crave certainty, and certainty is what cults do best. If there’s a distinction between a cult and a religion, it’s that certainty is not the same thing as faith. Faith acknowledges doubt and struggles on nonetheless. Certainty is madness.

For the gold-standard crazy cultic certainty, go to YouTube and search for a video made by the Scientologists starring Tom Cruise, in which Tom explains his religion to new recruits, with the Mission: Impossible music in the background. Towards the end of the nine-minute clip, Cruise begins to talk about Scientology’s critics, or Suppressive Persons. ‘SPs?’ Cruise laughs maniacally. ‘Wow. SPs, one day they’ll just read about them in the history books.’ The contempt in which he holds non-believers is astonishing.

And that’s why you can never crack a cultist with argument. The more you argue, the more you try to show them that their thinking might be awry, the more obvious it is to them that you’re part of the diabolical opposition — and that they’re being tested. Persecution only proves the point.

I once spent a few weeks with a Taiwanese UFO cult, Chen Tao, who had moved to Dallas, Texas, in the belief that God was due to arrive there in a spaceship. I was there the evening God was due — March 31, 1998 — and I was there when it became clear God was a no-show. I looked around, expecting to see people weeping, or leaving, or berating their leader. There was none of that. The leader, Chen, even offered to be stoned or crucified, but no one took him up on it. Some members simply stayed. Others left quietly in the following weeks and returned to their lives in Taiwan. And that, I think, is what will happen to the Cult of Trump.

It won’t end with the inauguration. There’s rarely an ‘aha’ moment for cult members — a blinding flash of understanding that they’ve lived a lie. That’s too damaging for the psyche. Trump true believers will be seeing pedos in high places for years to come. Hardcore anti-vaxxers will always look at Bill Gates askance. But slowly, if we resist the temptation to sneer too much and gloat, with any luck, the madness will fade.

This article was originally published in The Spectators UK magazine. 

 

 

I had to look up the word "Transubstantiation"... Not fully versed in English, it sounded like returning to dust under a carpet, but no. 

 

Transubstantiation, in Christianity, the change by which the substance (though not the appearance) of the bread and wine in the Eucharist becomes Christ’s real presence—that is, his body and blood. In Roman Catholicism and some other Christian churches, the doctrine, which was first called transubstantiation in the 12th century, aims at safeguarding the literal truth of Christ’s presence while emphasizing the fact that there is no change in the empirical appearances of the bread and wine. See also consubstantiation.

 

So, is Mary Wakefield a Christian — one of the religious nutcases or a religious loony?...

Either way, her article was loony enough to be amusing and nutcasey enough to be side-splitting...

 

 

Read more:

https://www.britannica.com/topic/transubstantiation

 

 

Read from top... See also: good things to those who don’t deserve them... in of water...

and now deprogramming the GOPs...

There are concerns about Katie Couric as a guest host of “Jeopardy!” after her “condescending, elitist” remarks that GOP and Trump supporters should be “deprogrammed.”

Days after “Jeopardy!” producers announced Couric would be a guest presenter of the ABC show following the death of beloved host Alex Trebek, she went on Bill Maher’s show and backed Trump’s impeachment and Twitter ban.

The former “Today” host told Maher on January 15 of GOP congressmen, “It’s really bizarre, isn’t it, when you think about how AWOL so many of these members of Congress have gotten.

“But I also think some of them are believing the garbage that they are being fed 24/7 on the internet, by their constituents, and they bought into this big lie.

“And the question is how are we going to really almost deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump.” 

A “Jeopardy!” source told Page Six the remarks immediately worried the producers of the Sony Pictures-created show, which attracts an audience with a median age of 64.2 years old.

The source said, “The ‘Jeopardy!’ audience is very conservative. And the show has always steered clear of politics.

“Katie’s comments so soon after she was announced as a host are very concerning to the producers. They are worried there will be a backlash against her. There has already been some complaints.

“Jeopardy viewers are quite a traditional bunch, and there’s fears she might be too polarizing after this. At the very least, she already appears to have ruled herself out of becoming the permanent host of the show.”

Veteran journalist Couric, 64, — who now runs her own company called Katie Couric Media — will soon host the iconic game show for a week, becoming its first-ever female host. Other guest hosts will include actress Mayim Bialik and NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Meanwhile, Couric has been weathering criticism for her partisan comments. The Hill columnist and Fox News contributor Joe Concha said, “This sort of rhetoric from Couric — which comes across as so condescending and elitist — underscores the divide between our media, which primarily resides in New York and Washington, and the rest of the country, which is moderate to center-right per multiple polls. And it’s why the industry is so mistrusted and frowned upon.”

 

 

Read more:

 

https://pagesix.com/2021/01/22/katie-courics-gop-comments-meet-controversy/?_ga=2.200708462.1372877816.1611347011-1820932637.1597488203

 

 

Yes, we know that the Republicans have been really bad and Trump was an idiot... But we're waiting for the Democrats to become angelic. Good is not good enough. We want Assange out of prison, free, and we want all the US little wars, especially in Yemen to be stopped...

 

But we cannot forget all the shit that Biden has done, even if he was god reincarnated, himself...

 

 

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silencing the critics...

House Democrats, Targeting Right-Wing Cable Outlets, Are Assaulting Core Press Freedoms

 


Democrats' justification for silencing their adversaries online and in media -- "they are spreading fake news and inciting extremism" -- is what despots everywhere say.


 

By Glenn Greenwald

 


Not even two months into their reign as the majority party that controls the White House and both houses of Congress, key Democrats have made clear that one of their top priorities is censorship of divergent voices. On Saturday, I detailed how their escalating official campaign to coerce and threaten social media companies into more aggressively censoring views that they dislike — including by summoning social media CEOs to appear before them for the third time in less than five months — is implicating, if not already violating, core First Amendment rights of free speech. 

Now they are going further — much further. The same Democratic House Committee that is demanding greater online censorship from social media companies now has its sights set on the removal of conservative cable outlets, including Fox News, from the airwaves.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Monday announced a February 24 hearing, convened by one of its sub-committees, entitled “Fanning the Flames: Disinformation and Extremism in the Media.” Claiming that “the spread of disinformation and extremism by traditional news media presents a tangible and destabilizing threat,” the Committee argues: “Some broadcasters’ and cable networks’ increasing reliance on conspiracy theories and misleading or patently false information raises questions about their devotion to journalistic integrity.”

Since when is it the role of the U.S. Government to arbitrate and enforce precepts of “journalistic integrity”? Unless you believe in the right of the government to regulate and control what the press says — a power which the First Amendment explicitly prohibits — how can anyone be comfortable with members of Congress arrogating unto themselves the power to dictate what media outlets are permitted to report and control how they discuss and analyze the news of the day?

But what House Democrats are doing here is far more insidious than what is revealed by that creepy official announcement. Two senior members of that Committee, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Silicon-Valley) and Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) also sent their own letters to seven of the nation’s largest cable providers — Comcast, AT&T, Spectrum, Dish, Verizon, Cox and Altice — as well as to digital distributors of cable news (Roku, Amazon, Apple, Google and Hulu) demanding to know, among other things, what those cable distributors did to prevent conservative “disinformation” prior to the election and after — disinformation, they said, that just so happened to be spread by the only conservative cable outlets: Fox, Newsmax and OANN.

In case there was any doubt about their true goal — coercing these cable providers to remove all cable networks that feature conservative voices, including Fox (just as their counterparts on that Committee want to ban right-wing voices from social media) — the House Democrats in their letter said explicitly what they are after: namely, removal of those conservative outlets by these cable providers:

 

 

Read more:

https://greenwald.substack.com/p/house-democrats-targeting-right-wing

 

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See also:

they did not need 9/11... in the poisoners of the american spirit...

reviving the european ideal...